About Weldon's Practical Needlework

From Interweave Press:

About 1885, Weldon’s began publishing a series of fourteen-page monthly newsletters, available by subscription, each title featuring patterns and instructions for projects using a single technique.

About 1888, the company began to publish Weldon’s Practical Needlework, each volume of which consisted of twelve issues (one year) of several newsletters bound together with a cloth cover.

Each volume contains hundreds of projects, illustrations, information on little-known techniques, glimpses of fashion as it was at the turn of the twentieth century, and brief histories of needlework. Other techniques treated include making objects from crinkled paper, tatting, netting, beading, patchwork, crewelwork, appliqué, cross-stitch, canvaswork, ivory embroidery, torchon lace, and much more.

From 1999 through 2005, Interweave published facsimiles of the first twelve volumes of Weldon’s Practical Needlework.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Fantastic Magazine for HIstoric Needleworkers!

"Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly is the premiere magazine for those who look at the handwork from centuries past with a sense of awe, wonder, and inquisitiveness. Each issue is a wealth of information that will delight, educate, and instruct: articles that shed light on the world in which the hand-wrought wonders of the past were produced; needlework projects that challenge and build the skills of the contemporary needleworker; lavish photographs of antique needlework and sewing tools. "

I just obtained nearly the entire run of this magazine and have added them to my store.  Historic samplers and other needlework pieces are showcased with gorgeous photographs, and there are fascinating articles about needlework tools, including a few forays into knitting tools.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest Finished

Finished it last night, pictures later today. It’s very cute, but too small for “stout” me. Getting a slender model today. 

At left is the vest after I sewed the 2 seams but before adding the pretty crocheted edging.  You sew the bound-off edge to the cast-on edge (creating a tube basically, or as Weldon's says, "like a roller towel"), then sew a second seam across the top, leaving 5" on each end for armholes.  It looks like a kite shape when the sewing is done and it's laid out flat.  I was completely doubtful that those 2 seams were going to create any sort of garment, but voila!  Weldon's strikes again with correct instructions and it is indeed a little bolero type shrug.

The Vest took exactly 3 skeins (550 yards) of Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight yarn.  
I think I’m going to knit it again, maybe in worsted weight yarn, and see how it turns out size wise. The garter stitch strip was 46” which created a snug vest on me, so I’m going to try knitting a longer strip.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest is Underway

I found 5 skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport Weight in the stash, color is "Pepper".  Seems to be the right weight for this, but there's no real way of knowing until I finish the 46" ("for a stout person", that's me lol) garter stitch strip and sew it together.

I hope I don't go blind knitting acres of black garter stitch.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest

From Weldon's Practical Knitter Nineteenth Series (1892) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 7.

"This vest is fashioned from a long strip of plain knitting, which when properly joined, with sufficient space left for armholes, will assume on the figure the shape of a Zouave, as shown in the engraving, and may be comfortably worn as a house-jacket or as an extra bodice under a cloak"

The original pattern calls for 5 ozs. of best fingering wool, or Berlin fingering, a pair of No. 9 needles, and one or two black bone buttons.

I will be trying this pattern using US #5 needles and probably sport or DK weight yarn.  You work a long strip of garter stitch ("for a stout person, about 46 inches") and do some tricky sewing to create the shape.  the Scalloped Edge is crocheted.

Gent's Knickerbocker Hose in Blantyre Plaid pattern available again!

Thanks Shirley!  She provided us with a much more printer-friendly sized file and you should be able to download it with no problem.

The free pdf for this cool pair of knee socks is now available!

I've hopefully fixed the problem with the charts printing as a GIANT set of pages.  I've tried printing them and they work fine (for me), please let me know if you still have problems printing.

Click here for the pattern

Sometimes I Just Don't Love a Pattern

And the Cable Stripe pattern is not a favorite.  I worked 3 repeats of the 6 row pattern and I just don't love it.  The cables are "lumpy" with the short rows and the lace pattern doesn't show up that well.  I might like it better if it were knit with a simple cable in the center (your basic "slip 7 sts to a cable needle and hold in front/back, k next 7 sts, k sts from cable needle), but that is not how the Weldon's designer intended it to be.

So that one is going in the "fail" bucket, not because it's incorrect, but just because I don't love it.

I think I'm going to move on from lace edgings for a while and try something else.  Maybe socks...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project 22.5 Cable Stripe Progress

Not quite as simple as I thought. The cable is formed by knitting short rows, then slipping the stitches to a spare needle, slipping next 7 sts to the other needle and putting the spare sts back on the needle. Makes a nice fat cable. I’m still working out how to chart that maneuver

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Project 22.5: Cable Pattern Stripe

"Cable Pattern Stripe" Originally published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Ninth Series (1895) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 10.  "This handsome stripe is composed of a broad, thick cable pattern, with a pretty border down each side of it.  It is suitable as an insertion in alternation with stripes of a less heavy pattern, or as a heading for lace."  Weldon's recommends it be used in combination with the "Knitted Lace" pattern I tried earlier (Project 22.3).

I'm looking forward to a cable pattern, after acres of lace knitting :-)  It's a fairly simple 6 row repeat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Project 22.4 Finished, and Right vs. Wrong Side?

And here's the "Hoop and Vandyke Edging", with a goof on one of the repeats I think.  The eyelet section looks slightly cockeyed about the middle of the piece.  Will redo my sample later :-)

One oddity in charting the Weldon's lace patterns, at least odd to me:  in my mind, the odd numbered rows (1, 3, 5 etc) are the "right side" of a pattern, i.e. the public side of the work.  If knitting in stockinette stitch, I'd expect the knit side to be on the odd # rows and the purl side to be on even # rows.  However, Weldon's pattern writers disagree with me.  Most of the lace patterns I've charted have the even numbered rows turn out to be the "public" side of the piece.

I'm not going to make any changes to the charts but it's something I'll be sure to note in the e-book, as I found it a bit surprising.  Does it befuddle you?

Project 22.4: Hoop and Vandyke Edging

Originally published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Ninth Series (1895) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 10.

"This edging looks well with cotton of any thickness, though perhaps best with Strutt's No. 10, and needles No. 16"

This lace edging is worked on 32 stitches and an 8 row repeat, and is much easier than I thought it would be from looking at the engraving.

I'm using some natural colored sock yarn from my stash.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Project 22.3 Knitted Lace Finished

An easy pattern with a couple of interesting stitches: the "loops" are formed by doing a YO x 6; the diagonal stripes are made with both a ssk/yo on the right side, and a purl dec on the wrong side that I haven't seen before: you purl 1, slip that st back to the left hand needle, pull the next st over the purled st, then put the purled st back on the right hand needle.
Edging 22.4?  There's a very fancy one that's tempting me, but I don't know if I'll be able to chart it in any kind of comprehensible manner.  I'll give it a shot though.